ROWLETT – A fundraising page has been established for retired US Navy Captain and Rowlett resident David Elliott, who has been diagnosed with the extremely debilating and fatal Huntington’s Disease.
His son, Daniel, and future daughter-in-law, Ashley Puckett from Rockwall, will be walking in the Huntington’s Disease Society of America Team Hope Walk this Sunday at 4 pm in Addison.
The couple is asking as many people as possible to donate by Friday to help them reach their $5,000 fundraising goal.
According to the Society’s website, Huntington’s disease (HD) is a fatal genetic disorder that causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. It deteriorates a person’s physical and mental abilities during their prime working years and has no cure. HD is known as the quintessential family disease because every child of a parent with HD has a 50/50 chance of carrying the faulty gene. Today, there are approximately 30,000 symptomatic Americans and more than 200,000 at-risk of inheriting the disease.
Many describe the symptoms of HD as having ALS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s – simultaneously.
Symptoms usually appear between the ages of 30 to 50, and worsen over a 10 to 25 year period. Ultimately, the weakened individual succumbs to pneumonia, heart failure or other complications. Everyone has the gene that causes HD, but only those that inherit the expansion of the gene will develop HD and perhaps pass it on to each of their children. Every person who inherits the expanded HD gene will eventually develop the disease. Over time, HD affects the individual’s ability to reason, walk and speak.
By J.J. Smith